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Rand Paul's solution to unemployment and drugs: Rich people?

The other day, Rand Paul got into a bit of trouble for saying that the drug problem in Eastern Kentucky is "not a real pressing issue." Paul's Democratic opponent, Jack Conway, blasted Paul for being out of touch with the state.

Now Paul has stepped forward to clarify those remarks in an interview with local WYMT-TV, claiming that as a physician, he does view the drug problem as a serious one. But it's unclear whether his clarification will help much. In sum, he said the best solution to drug use is to bring down unemployment -- which is best done by giving rich people the freedom to invest and create jobs.

It's not a stretch to ask whether Paul thinks the best solution to the drug problem is leaving the rich alone to do their thing. From the interview:

"I personally think we've been trying the government solution, and maybe there are some good aspects to it. But we're still failing, and we're not getting rid of the drug problem," Paul said.

Paul says reinvesting money in the local economy will help ease the unemployment, which he says leads to more drug use.

"You want rich people because that's what creates jobs. If you punish people, they won't expand or create jobs," Paul said.

It's unclear what Paul meant by warning against "punishing" the rich. But given his past statements, which have depicted Federal action against the private sector as punitive, he is presumably saying high taxation and regulation "punish" the rich and discourage them from investing in the local economy. This keeps unemployment high, which in turn keeps drug use rampant.

I hear Dems are going to jump on this in order to depict Paul as fundamentally unserious on economic and drug policy. I've asked the Paul campaign for clarification and will update you if I hear back.

UPDATE, 2:08 p.m.: The Rand Paul campaign clarifies but essentially sticks by his statement.

By Greg Sargent  |  August 17, 2010; 12:18 PM ET
Categories:  2010 elections , Senate Dems , Senate Republicans  
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Next: Rand Paul stands by claim on unemployment and drugs

Comments

Which leads to the question; if they are only doing drugs, when they are out of work, where do they get all the money from, to purchase drugs?

It sounds like Wee Randy might still be hitting The Bong. He should stop acting like a Dope, and go consult Aqua Buddha, on how best to solve the problem.

Posted by: Liam-still | August 17, 2010 12:28 PM | Report abuse

"I personally think we've been trying the government solution, and maybe there are some good aspects to it. But we're still failing, and we're not getting rid of the drug problem," Paul said. "

I don't necessarily disagree with that assessment, but good grief - is there anything Republicans don't feel could be fixed by tax cuts?

Posted by: schrodingerscat | August 17, 2010 12:30 PM | Report abuse

Rand Paul is an Austria school nutjob. Since he started his primary campaign, he's been ranting incoherently about the "runaway inflation" that, in typical Austria school fashion, is always right around the corner. He is to economic policy what John Hagee is to global news.

The man loves Ayn Rand (he wasn't named after her, but he probably wishes he had been). He doesn't "do" reality.

Posted by: michael_conrad | August 17, 2010 12:30 PM | Report abuse

This guy must think he's John Galt.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | August 17, 2010 12:31 PM | Report abuse

"This keeps unemployment high, which in turn keeps drug use rampant."

Because that's the best use of very limited funds when you're out of a job: recreational drugs.

I don't think people who suddenly find themselves out of work tend to immediately add an expense, and start using recreational drugs they previously did not. Most of them probably go for rent, food, and not being stoned on job interviews, first.

Also, as an ideological pure libertarian, Rand Paul should be (I would assume) for across the board drug legalization. Why isn't he suggesting that as a solution to America's drug problem?

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | August 17, 2010 12:31 PM | Report abuse

Rand Paul's problem is that he is afraid to be a real libertarian like his father. So he winds up in these contorted positions that are neither principled nor persuasive. He is, however, quite correct that the illicit drug problem is wildly overstated. I noticed that Conway, a career prosecutor, got the Police endorsement. Law enforcement LOVES the War on Drugs; it's their own full-emplyment act. The corrections industrial-complex, too. There is big money putting and keeping Americans in prison.

Posted by: wbgonne | August 17, 2010 12:33 PM | Report abuse

I like the pickup from Baloon Juice:

"Not only is Eastern Kentucky’s drug problem “a real pressing issue,” it is arguably the region’s and the state’s most pressing issue. For Paul to think otherwise, he must have spent his 17 years in this state in a cocoon — perhaps paying 24/7 homage to Aqua Buddha."

http://www.balloon-juice.com/2010/08/17/beats-all-you-never-saw/

Posted by: mikefromArlington | August 17, 2010 12:33 PM | Report abuse

@schrodingerscat: "but good grief - is there anything Republicans don't feel could be fixed by tax cuts?"

Nope. Tax cuts are like bacon--perfect with everything. Or like Chuck Norris--there's nothing they can't do.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | August 17, 2010 12:36 PM | Report abuse

Boy I sure do miss the days when we had a normal unemployment rate and drugs weren't a problem.

Oh. Wait.

Posted by: TheBBQChickenMadness | August 17, 2010 12:37 PM | Report abuse

WHAAAAA?!

Tax Cuts for the Rich -> LESS Drug Use?

and

Easing Unemployment -> MORE Drug Use?

That doesn't pass even the most BASIC test of logic. Sigh. Better (i.e. sane) Republicans please.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | August 17, 2010 12:38 PM | Report abuse

Tax Cuts are the magical elixir for all that ails human kind.

The Bush tax cuts even gave Cindy Crawford a smoother complexion.

Posted by: Liam-still | August 17, 2010 12:39 PM | Report abuse

@Liam-still: "The Bush tax cuts even gave Cindy Crawford a smoother complexion."

See? Tax cuts also give us more money to buy more bacon.

What's not to like?

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | August 17, 2010 12:43 PM | Report abuse

Paul's problem is that, as a Constitutional matter, he doesn't believe the federal government should do much of anything. That doesn't present well in problem-solving exercises. I agree with Paul that the federal government should get out of the business of criminalizing narcotics. The federal government should re-charcterize drug abuse as public health problem and assist states and local communities in dealing with it.

Posted by: wbgonne | August 17, 2010 12:44 PM | Report abuse

OT:

Output at the nation's factories, mines and utilities increased 1.0 percent last month, the Federal Reserve reported Tuesday.

Factory output, the largest single component of industrial production, grew 1.1 percent. It was the biggest jump in nearly a year. Boosting output were auto plants that kept operating when they normally shutter for summer renovations. Even without the strong auto sector, factory output rose 0.6 percent.

Business equipment production grew 1.8 percent, the most of any major market group. That number has remained positive since February, while consumer goods and construction supplies have been uneven.

The last time factory output increased so steeply was August 2009, when the government's Cash for Clunkers program drove a 1.3 percent gain.

http://www.talkingpointsmemo.com/news/2010/08/industrial_production_rises_10_percent_in_july.php

Posted by: Ethan2010 | August 17, 2010 12:47 PM | Report abuse


@Liam-still: "The Bush tax cuts even gave Cindy Crawford a smoother complexion."

See? Tax cuts also give us more money to buy more bacon.

What's not to like?

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | August 17, 2010 12:43 PM
...............

Indeed. The allow us all to go Hog Wild.

Of course it must create a terrible conflict in the minds of many fiscal conservatives, who are against Bringing Home The Pork.

Posted by: Liam-still | August 17, 2010 12:50 PM | Report abuse

Edit:

They allow us all....

Damn hand me down fingers have failed me again.

Posted by: Liam-still | August 17, 2010 12:52 PM | Report abuse

@Kevin...perhaps Scott as well..and any other "conservative" "liberterian" who is not a wack job.

Can you explain to all of us the economic logic behind tax cut fever (I think that was a Ted Nugent hit way back when) and how putting evern MORE money in the hands of the wealthy is going to create jobs. The idea they are going to run out and invest and thus create jobs is simply absurd.

Let's look at this logically. If tax cuts were such a panacea we should be flush right now not in the middle of our worst economic crisis in over a half century.
After all Bush spent the first part of this millennium cutting taxes on the wealthy. So where are the freaking jobs.,

Corporations have some the highest cash reserves in history...why are they not investing...why give them more money to put into their reserves...

On the other hand...when the tax cuts are targeted to the middle class..unemployment benefits accomplish much of the same type of stimulus...these people of NECESSITY spend that money on products and services which guess what? Creates new freaking jobs. Henry Ford realized early on if he didn't pay his workers enough money they'd never be able to buy his cars.

What astute rich person/businessman/corporation is going to invest in a product/service that has no market. Might they actually invest to fill a void if consumer demand indicated a desire for a product.

This is a lot simpler than which came first the chicken or the egg. Businessmen invest in markets...they don't just build things because they have capital...they respond to demand.

The Bush tax cuts were completely wasted and did nothing but run up the deficit. Even when the wealthy did invest they put it in crap like Credit Default Swaps and other exotic non productive financial instruments not into actual job producing investments.

We have history, logic , and numerous economists including Bruce Barlett one of Reagan's top supply side advisors, to show us supply side has been a failure of historic magnitude.

Posted by: rukidding7 | August 17, 2010 12:53 PM | Report abuse

Of course passing massive tax cuts for the wealthy creates lots and lots of jobs.


That is why, when President George W. Bush left office, we had full employment, and the unemployment offices were laying off people.

Tax Cuts: Is There Nothing They Can't Do?

They are almost as miraculous as Donuts, right Homer?

Posted by: Liam-still | August 17, 2010 12:59 PM | Report abuse

just a note to rukidding: it is tough to answer your questions when you've already shown your intolerance and prejudice.

If you want a dialog questions make sense. If you just want to repeat the liberal mantras, why bother with the illusion?

Posted by: skipsailing28 | August 17, 2010 1:06 PM | Report abuse

ruk: "Corporations have some the highest cash reserves in history...why are they not investing...why give them more money to put into their reserves..."

The multi-national I work for is flush with cash, and is investing, as they have consistently for the 10 years (almost) I've been here.

So far this year alone, they have opened service centers and sales offices in Vietnam, China and New Zealand, and bought a small competitor in the Czech Republic. They have also closed service centers in Illinois and South Carolina. Last year they opened a service center in both Russia and Norway, and moved a core engineering group to Bangalore.

I think investing has been occuring, just not in the US. There is no incentive to.

Posted by: suekzoo1 | August 17, 2010 1:07 PM | Report abuse

"I think investing has been occuring, just not in the US. There is no incentive to."

What does "no incentive" to invest in the U.S. mean?

Posted by: wbgonne | August 17, 2010 1:10 PM | Report abuse

"it is tough to answer your questions when you've already shown your intolerance and prejudice."

Jeez, look who's talking.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | August 17, 2010 1:14 PM | Report abuse

This dustup on drugs demonstrates yet again that Republicans cannot win when they discuss real issues that demand real solutions. That is why more established and politic GOPers discuss nothing but demagogue-ready matters. The press should demand that the GOP acknowledge problems and state how they intend to solve those problems without federal government involvement.

Posted by: wbgonne | August 17, 2010 1:16 PM | Report abuse

O/T:

Don't look now but Pakistan is falling apart.

Pakistani floods could further hurt unstable nation as military focuses on aid

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/08/17/AR2010081702660.html?nav=rss_email/components

Posted by: wbgonne | August 17, 2010 1:20 PM | Report abuse

wbg, "no incentive" to me means no overarching reason, mainly (from the corporate perspective) profit motive.

In the case of my company, I can understand them opening up offices in developing areas or where there is an emerging customer base. Makes perfect sense. Proximity to our customers is a key element to our overall success. We do a significant amount of repair work that is required on a quick turn basis. Closeness to the customer counts.

But moving jobs from our engineering department here in Michigan to Bangalore is all about profit motive. There isn't any other reason. The engineers there aren't more able, better educated, nothing like that. It simply comes down to dollars and cents, which as we know is the #1 incentive for corporations to do anything.

Posted by: suekzoo1 | August 17, 2010 1:26 PM | Report abuse

Sue,

Yup. It is all about getting a bigger Bangalore For The Buck.

Posted by: Liam-still | August 17, 2010 1:31 PM | Report abuse

Rich People


??????????


Drug Free!

Posted by: mikefromArlington | August 17, 2010 1:34 PM | Report abuse

suekzoo1:

Yes, corporations always do what makes the most profit. OK, so there must be disincentives for moving jobs out of the country. I guess it's trickier with multinationals but the tax code should still be able to handle that.

Posted by: wbgonne | August 17, 2010 1:35 PM | Report abuse

Rich people already have money and they still aren't hiring anyone, because they know the rest of us don't have any money and won't buy their products and services.

Posted by: SDJeff | August 17, 2010 1:43 PM | Report abuse

Can you imagine? A company LEAVING MICHIGAN? Why who'd a thunk it?

My favorite example of the flight from Michigan is Comerica Bank.

Heck the Detroit Tigers still play at Comerica Park. It is just that the Bank's headquarters were moved from Michigan to Texas.

the question is this: if the profit motives is this strong, why don't state governments understand it and react accordingly? What made Texas more attractive than Michigan?

In Ohio we lost NCR which was born and raised in Dayton. Our astute govenor didn't even know what was brewing.
so the jobs leave these Democrat controlled rust belt states and the employees leave with them. Ohio will lose one, maybe two, house seats after the 2010 census. That should be embarrassing.

Finally, I recall a quote from Romney: "If you like what Jennifer Granholm did for the Michigan economy, you're gonna love what Obama will do to the American economy."

Wow, did Romney get that right. The united states of michigan. Just great

Posted by: skipsailing28 | August 17, 2010 1:44 PM | Report abuse

wbg: "Yes, corporations always do what makes the most profit. OK, so there must be disincentives for moving jobs out of the country. I guess it's trickier with multinationals but the tax code should still be able to handle that."

That is one reason that Obama's stance of closing corporate tax loopholes for corporations that off-shore jobs and offering tax breaks for keeping jobs here sounded like a good place to start.

Posted by: suekzoo1 | August 17, 2010 1:47 PM | Report abuse

and this comment:
=================
This dustup on drugs demonstrates yet again that Republicans cannot win when they discuss real issues that demand real solutions. That is why more established and politic GOPers discuss nothing but demagogue-ready matters. The press should demand that the GOP acknowledge problems and state how they intend to solve those problems without federal government involvement.

==================================

Proves that at least one liberal is clueless about the fundamentals of the libertarian point of view.

Posted by: skipsailing28 | August 17, 2010 1:48 PM | Report abuse

When the rich end up with almost all the money, the remaing vast majority will have no money to spend on anything except the bare essentials. It is as true now, as it was back in the old slave days in the south. The slave work force had no disposable income, and the remainder of the working class could not demand much in compensation, because they were competing against a captive population that were made to work for free.

Accordingly; the South did not develop much of an industrial capacity, and imported almost all of the luxury items, for the slave owners.

Posted by: Liam-still | August 17, 2010 1:52 PM | Report abuse

The Bush Tax Cuts did so much good for Eastern Kentucky that drug use is up significantly since then. Poverty in Appalachia hasn't improved much since St. Ronald Reagan took office. On the other hand, the coal companies continue to rape the land and kill people.

Areas where extractive industries are the only game in town do NOT result in full employment. The workers are peons, and the general economy does not benefit because the profits go to where the mining companies HQ is. Plus, the local environment is trashed. Come see mountain top removal mining in action....

Rand Paul does NOT get what is what in Kentucky. I thought there couldn't be a more idiotic senator than Jim Bunning to represent us, but if this bozo wins, I will be proven SOOOOO wrong...

Posted by: WarriorGrrl | August 17, 2010 1:54 PM | Report abuse

If you like what George W. Bush did for the Economy Of The USA, You will love what the next Republican President Will Do For It.

Posted by: Liam-still | August 17, 2010 1:55 PM | Report abuse

O/T...and apologies to those who are topic-weary....

Mulim American reader at TPM's perspective on the Park51 stuff.

http://www.talkingpointsmemo.com/archives/2010/08/a_muslim_pov.php#more?ref=fpblg

Posted by: suekzoo1 | August 17, 2010 1:57 PM | Report abuse

Why I Am Not A Quesling:


I am absolutely against Muslim Community Centers flying The Flag Of The Renegade Confederate Traitors, and I am also against them Displaying big stone sculptures of the Ten Commandments in their Sharia Courts.

I sure wish God had not relied on stone age technology, in order to communicate his commandments to us. He could have given poor old Moses a hernia, trying to lug those big rocks down the mountain.

One would think, that any old deity capable of whipping up an entire universe, would have been able to write on something more high tech than slabs of rock.

A very poor choice of materials on his part, since they did not last very long.

I think we should all pray for him to try a fresh delivery, and this time write those commandments on an iPad, or at the very least etched on sheets of stainless steel. A hard disc back up copy would also be nice Lord, if you are not still stuck in the Stone Age.

Why not open a Twitter account, and post your commandments on there. Get with the program, or surrender your Deity Credentials.

Posted by: Liam-still | August 17, 2010 1:59 PM | Report abuse

OT, speaking of Coal/Energy...

This c/o benen:

In June, a New Jersey company held the license to technology that "makes solar panels cheaper, more efficient and less toxic to the environment." The company's chief executive, an American and retired Marine, decided he had no choice but to move his operation to China, which reached out to the company. "The Chinese have a major, aggressive movement to increase the technology in the photovoltaic area," Chuck Provini said. "They picked up the phone and called us and said, 'What do you do?'"

The result: an American company's technology will be commercialized overseas. The economic boost and the hundreds of new jobs will be in China, not here. As ABC News reported, we're not only lagging behind China, but Brazil, the United Kingdom, Germany, and Spain all have a national clean energy policy, and are all taking clean-energy investments more seriously than the United States.

And it's getting worse. Deutsche Bank has making billions of dollars in energy-policy investments. Guess where the money's going? Western Europe and China. Guess why:

Amid so much political uncertainty in the United States, Parker said Deutsche Bank will focus its "green" investment dollars more and more on opportunities in China and Western Europe, where it sees governments providing a more positive environment.

"They're asleep at the wheel on climate change, asleep at the wheel on job growth, asleep at the wheel on this industrial revolution taking place in the energy industry," [Deutsche Bank's Kevin] Parker said of Washington's inability to seal a climate-change program and other alternative energy incentives into place.

http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/archives/individual/2010_08/025243.php

We're so afraid of the word TAX (i.e. "energy tax" "cap and tax" etc) that we're willing to allow our economy to become 3rd rate.

Heckuva job America.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | August 17, 2010 2:00 PM | Report abuse

All, check it out, Rand Paul is sticking by the above claim:

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/plum-line/2010/08/rand_paul_stands_by_claim_on_u.html

Posted by: Greg Sargent | August 17, 2010 2:01 PM | Report abuse

@skipper...wow dude get your politics straight...Bruce Bartlett was one of St. Ronnie's top economic advisors and was especially involved in implementing Arthur Laughter's(forgive the snarky spelling but this guy is a joke) infamous curve for Reagan's supply side approach. You can disagree but he is hardly a liberal.

I am in complete agreement with Kevin W about one thing skipper...you had a chance to knock down every one of my statements...e.g. Suekzoo pointed out that yes her corp has plenty of cash but they ARE investing...alas overseas...that was actually informative...but as usual skipper here is the extent of your intellect and information....

"If you want a dialog questions make sense. If you just want to repeat the liberal mantras, why bother with the illusion?"

It's only illusory to you skipper because you can't handle the truth and so you basically hide in your closet of name calling and ignorance of the issues.

If you had an answer you would have offered...seeing as you only offered ad hominem attacks I guess we all know where you're coming from and it's not a place of intelligent discussion. I could toss of some stupid partisan names at you as well...but Kevin W has shown me the light and I think he is correct about how a dialogue can actually occur.

But then again...just me speaking here...perhaps others feel the same...but I have seen your posts...they never include info...just insults..and so if you recall I prefaced my post...

"@Kevin...perhaps Scott as well..and any other "conservative" "liberterian" who is not a wack job."

And so it's safe to say I never really expected a response from you...although a gratuitous insult from you is hardly novel.

Posted by: rukidding7 | August 17, 2010 2:18 PM | Report abuse

"They're asleep at the wheel on climate change, asleep at the wheel on job growth, asleep at the wheel on this industrial revolution taking place in the energy industry," [Deutsche Bank's Kevin] Parker said of Washington's inability to seal a climate-change program and other alternative energy incentives into place."

Fiddling as it burns. To think, America used to lead. Now we can't even follow.

Posted by: wbgonne | August 17, 2010 2:20 PM | Report abuse

Just for clarification...I do not consider ALL conservatives..or ALL libertarians wack jobs...Kevin W. and Scott are just two who come to mind immediately who simply have different political views and are not afraid to debate them rationally...there are plenty of others...

But let's be honest..who really pays attention to Moammar Kaddafi's rants on this site...or skipper..actuator..and alas once again there are plenty of others.

Posted by: rukidding7 | August 17, 2010 2:22 PM | Report abuse

wbgonne...yes and to complete the ole saying you selected, pretty soon we're going to asked to get out of the way.

Posted by: rukidding7 | August 17, 2010 2:35 PM | Report abuse

skippy: (Off the mark as usual) "Can you imagine? A company LEAVING MICHIGAN? Why who'd a thunk it?"

The company is not leaving Michigan, and I never said that. (Got a problem with reading comprehension, skippy?) The company is headquartered in Dallas, TX. The company employs 18,000 people worldwide. We have 52 domestic locations, and are located in 38 countries. The company has a manufacturing facility in Michigan. It's not leaving.

Posted by: suekzoo1 | August 17, 2010 4:22 PM | Report abuse

rukidding: I don't have the time to go deep on tax cuts, so let me focus on where I know we can probably agree: tax cuts for the wealthy clearly don't have the kind of job creation potential a supply-sider like myself would have hoped. If they did, we wouldn't be at 9.5% unemployment right now.

The Laffer curve is demonstrably correct, viewed in context. Attempts (the point behind which I don't quite grasp) to discredit it almost always insist the Laffer curve claims something it does not. It simply says that at 0% taxes, the government receives no revenue. It also says at 100% taxation, the government receives no revenue. Somewhere between 0% taxation and 100% taxation is a point where the government receives maximum revenue. If that's inaccurate, I'd be interest to see how.

Tax cuts for folks making less than $250k must necessarily put money back into the economy, as most of those folks are going to want to or need to spend it on something. Only billionaires and multi-millionaires have so much that there's nothing else they could possibly want, so they are free to hoard. Or use their cash to try and destabilize international currencies. Or what have you. Middle class tax cuts--and I'm not talking about extending them, I'm talking about increasing them--might prove to be a real boon to the economy. I think it's worth trying. You may disagree, but I think cutting upper-middle class and below tax rates to the single digits for several years as a form of economic stimulus might be a good idea.

I also think it's worth looking at cutting capital gains. It's a very tax sensitive transaction, and cuts in capital gains taxes can potentially increase revenues from capital gains.

Reducing corporate taxes for small businesses. And making sure the most gigantic multinationals that do billions of dollars in business in our country actually pay some sort of income tax. Dude down the street struggling to keep the Leftorium open at the strip mall paid more in US corporate taxes than Exxon/Mobil. Something's wrong there.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | August 17, 2010 5:38 PM | Report abuse

All right, Greg, I'll bite. How, exactly, is Rand Paul's position in any way different from the national Republican Party's?

Posted by: stonedone | August 18, 2010 11:29 AM | Report abuse

Recreational drugs should be legal and FREE! The drug laws are attempts long ago of bleeding hearts to save people from themselves. If someone wants to do drugs what right do we have to stop them whether it hurts them or not? If you take away the need to steal to obtain the money for drugs then there really isn't a problem. Police can be in charge of delivering drugs and simply record the name and location of the delivery to make identification bodies a little easier and it can give them something to do. Natural selection will eventually provide the long term solution.

Posted by: wonderingstevie | August 22, 2010 6:44 PM | Report abuse

Recreational drugs should be legal and FREE! The drug laws are attempts long ago of bleeding hearts to save people from themselves. If someone wants to do drugs what right do we have to stop them whether it hurts them or not? If you take away the need to steal to obtain the money for drugs then there really isn't a problem. Police can be in charge of delivering drugs and simply record the name and location of the delivery to make identification bodies a little easier and it can give them something to do. Natural selection will eventually provide the long term solution.

Posted by: wonderingstevie | August 22, 2010 6:45 PM | Report abuse

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